JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel will resume the transfer of collected tax funds to the Palestinian Authority, its finance minister said.
Yuval Steinitz, saying he was satisfied that none of the tax transfers would be given to the government’s new partner Hamas or any other terrorist group, confirmed on Sunday night to reporters that his ministry would begin transferring the approximately $88 million in customs and other taxes that it collects for the Palestinians.
The money had been withheld for the past two weeks following the reconciliation between PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party and Hamas.
Steinitz said in a statement that the Finance Ministry decided to renew the transfer "after we got confirmation from the Palestinians that no money will be transferred to Hamas or to terrorist operations."
He added that he reserved the right to halt the transfers again should Hamas join the Palestinian government.
The Palestinians had turned to the United Nations, the United States and the international community in order to get the withheld funds, saying they could not meet the government payroll without it.